Every day, more and more businesses are moving their IT infrastructure onto the cloud. The benefits of flexibility, scalability, and capital expense reduction are all simply too powerful for companies to ignore for long.
However, not all clouds are created equal. There are a large number of companies out there that provide cloud services, many of which fall into one of two camps:
- Commodity Cloud Providers
- Premium Cloud Service Providers
The difference between premium cloud service providers and commodity cloud providers is largely based on their ability to specialize in a given type of service, as well as what is included with the “basic” package for each.
What Commodity Cloud Providers Do, and Don’t Do
Examples of commodity cloud providers include companies such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure. These companies are pretty much household names, with some very impressive resources behind them.
With commodity clouds, the primary focus is on being big and providing cost savings, not necessarily on being flexible, accessible, or providing strong service. To achieve cost reductions, these cloud providers will make cuts wherever they can. This can make these providers slow and unresponsive when issues occur that affect your cloud environment or business applications.
Trusting your business-critical apps and data with these “big-box” clouds can prove to be complicated, and often it is difficult to access expert level support when you need it.
When these clouds do offer premium services, they are typically treated as an extra-cost add-on, something that is very different than premium cloud providers.To get specific security, disaster recovery, or data center services, you end up paying a premium well above and beyond the advertised price. In short, it can seem as though you’re getting nickel-and-dimed for the services you need to meet the security and compliance demands of your business.
Despite these drawbacks, there are some advantages to using commodity cloud providers. For example, the cost savings focus of such providers tend to make them less costly than a premium service provider for basic service. However, this cost difference is typically minimal, especially when you factor in the cost of system admin time spent managing the cloud solution on your end, or the additional add-on security features not inherent to their cloud infrastructure.
Premium Cloud Service Providers Do Things Differently
A key differentiator of a premium cloud provider is what comes inherent with their infrastructure. Premium cloud companies tend to focus on providing strong service and support. Additionally, premium cloud providers have purpose-built their platforms with security in mind and tend to specialize in the type of services they offer.
For example, WHOA’s enterprise cloud was built from the ground up to protect data. Some of the measures WHOA uses include:
- Perimeter, Per-App, and Per Tenant Firewalls. A big box provider might have a perimeter firewall, but what about internal firewalls for the individual apps and business environments in their cloud? WHOA isolates each app and tenant with their own individual firewalls to maximize security and minimize the potential impact of a breach.
- VM Monitoring. WHOA cloud services come standard with basic VM monitoring for your cloud environment. This monitoring helps reduce the burden on your IT department while providing enhanced visibility for your cloud solution. Combined with event log management, this monitoring helps ensure that threats don’t surprise you
- Threat Signature Protection. WHOA uses a Palo Alto subscription service that provides automatic updates to recognize new apps, threats, and IP databases to improve traffic filtering. Beyond this, WHOA proactively creates custom threat signatures in response to specific security exploits and protect every customer from those exploits.
The Difference in a Nutshell
In short, what separates a premium cloud service provider from a big box provider is one word—service. With a premium provider, you’re a valued customer, not a service number. Each cloud user and environment is important, and is treated as such.
Premium providers tend to be more focused on enabling fast responses to customer issues. Additionally, premium cloud companies tend to make migration and troubleshooting faster and easier for your company, reducing the resources you need to pour into the process.
With premium service clouds such as WHOA.com, not only do you get the meticulous attention to detail that comes with a white-glove treatment, you can trust that your company is on an enterprise-grade secure cloud environment tended to by industry experts.